The curriculum is not just a list of subjects taught in school. The curriculum describes everything that goes on in school and helps children to learn about the world around them. Any curriculum must cover all the activities in a school designed to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepare them for opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life and society.
The principles behind our curriculum are that:
- All children must be valued equally whatever their stage of development and are entitled to experience the maximum sense of success
- All children must be afforded equality of opportunity and not be discriminated against on the ground of class, race, colour, gender, religion or disability.
- Personal development is a life-long leaning process.
- The provision of education is a partnership between school, parents and the wider community, each having contributions to make to the development of the other.
The curriculum includes specific key areas of knowledge, as well as skills concepts and attitudes, which children will experience in relation to subjects, areas of experience, different styles of learning, and the values that underpin the curriculum. These values are apparent through these emphasises and priorities in the curriculum.
The curriculum also has characteristics of breadth, balance, relevance, differentiation, and progression. For example, the school's curriculum does not just focus on the narrow mechanical aspects of learning to read, write and calculate. In addition to acquiring basic skills, children experience a wide range of different tasks; mathematical problems associated with the real world; different teaching approaches - for example teacher and pupil initiated activity, practical and reflective activities, individual, group, full class, and school based learning, and a wide variety of written published material at a suitable level.
Assessment in the new curriculum
In September 2014 the Government made a huge change in the way that children in schools are assessed. This is to tie in with the New National Curriculum that all schools introduced at the beginning of this academic year. This is a new way of thinking for schools, and assessment will look very different to how it has done for the past 20 years.
The new National Curriculum sets out expectations for each year group and children will be assessed against those every year, so, for example, a child in Year 4 will always be judged in the first instance against the expectations for the end of Year 4.
Statements on the school reports:
|Working at national standard||Your child is working within their own year group|
|Working below national standard||Your child is working one year group below|
|Working significantly below national standard||Your child is working more than one year group below|
School has an internally devised tracking tool which allows staff to monitor the children's attainment and program against the year group expectations.
The National Curriculum
The Governors of Newbottle Primary Academy have taken the decision to follow the national curriculum. This is a curriculum made up from the core subjects; English, Mathematics, Science and Computing and other foundation subjects; art, Design Technology, Geography, History, Music, and Physical education.
Newbottle Primary Academy’s curriculum
The acquisition of numeracy and literacy skills is central to the curriculum as these are essential for academic success. They are developed through specific basic skills teaching and then applied across the entire curriculum. Children learn through a topic-based approach where first-hand experience puts learning into context. This engages and motivates children and ensures that their learning is embedded.
Children work together and in different situations to apply their learning in problem-solving and other activities.
Assessment for learning is at the heart of the curriculum. Teachers have the autonomy to teach what children need. Where it becomes clear that there are poor skills in a particular area, teachers are expected to rectify this quickly though whole class teaching or well-targeted interventions.
Early years foundation stage curriculum within Newbottle Primary Academy
Learning in the Foundation Stage reflects the EYFS Statutory framework and Development matters guidance. The curriculum is based around four principles:
- Every child is a unique individual who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.
- Children develop and learn in different ways. Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.
Learning is categorised into seven areas: three prime and four specific.
Prime areas are fundamental; work together and move through to support development in all other areas. The prime areas are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning. The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Underpinning the EYFS curriculum are the characteristics of effective learning. Children are given opportunities to play and explore, engage in active learning, and create and think critically.
Writing within Newbottle Primary Academy
Children are given regular opportunities to write for a purpose, using the wider topic to give a context. Specific text types are taught, using quality text as a model to develop children’s understanding of the genre; the structural and language features of the text are analysed and basic skills teaching of punctuation and grammar ensure that children are well prepared for their own composition. Extension of children’s vocabulary is a key priority and every opportunity is taken to advance this important area. Detailed marking of extended writing with improvement prompts, support children in taking their learning forward.
As well as the main text type, children apply their understanding of previously taught genres during their topic work, thus ensuring text types are regularly revised.
Additional basic skills sessions, including spelling and handwriting, are planned. These are specific to the needs of classes, groups and individuals.
Reading within Newbottle Primary Academy
A daily systematic synthetic Phonics lesson is taught for 20 minutes each day in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 classes. It also extends into Key Stage 2 where children have not gained a sound phonological understanding. The school phonics programme follows the ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ document.
Reading is given very high priority within school. All Key Stage 1 and 2 classes have daily, dedicated 20 minute reading sessions where all children complete purposeful reading activities. Guided reading takes place with groups during this time. Children have the opportunity to have stories read to them and share class novels.
All children are encouraged to take books to share at home. Foundation Stage is rich in quality books in all areas of learning. Throughout the school children follow the 'Oxford Reading Tree Scheme' which is backed up by a range of comprehension activities. We are proud of the ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme which is used in Key Stage 2 for home reading. The scheme follows an online quiz, where children are given an accurate book level. They can then choose a book of their interest which will be at an appropriate level of difficulty. Following completion of the book, an online comprehension quiz enables the child and teacher to assess understanding. All children keep a total word count for all books read during the year. This has a great motivational effect on the children as it is linked to the school reward system.
Communication within Newbottle Primary Academy
Underpinning the curriculum are interactive speaking and listening techniques. Children learn to communicate effectively with each other in a range of contexts. In doing so they ensure that they are actively involved in each lesson. A progression framework is used to ensure that children learn the basic skills of communication, which are then built upon to more complex conventions such as giving presentations about their learning.
Mathematics within Newbottle Primary Academy
In the teaching of mathematics we pride ourselves on learning through understanding and developing children's curiosity to learn through practical experiences in a real life context.
Mathematics is taught in a meaningful and enjoyable way that links to the world around us and develops an enquiry approached curriculum. Within school children are taught in ability and mixed ability groups so that we meet the needs of all children. We provide a systematic approach that builds, extends and challenges the skills, knowledge and understanding that children have.
Within our school there is a dedicated time to 'basic skills' teaching outside of the daily maths lesson. Children work in groups each day where the focus is upon the key principles of children being 'numerate'.
Science within Newbottle Primary Academy
We aim to provide children with scientific expereinces and opportunities to develop as independent, interactive and collaborative learners in a variety of exciting and stimulating activities across the curriculum. The children are encourage, through a question-based curriculum to investigate and make sense of the world and environment around them.
At the heart of our child-centred curriculum is children's natural curiosity and desire to learn. Our mission is to provide children with the skills, knowldge and understanding of how Science has contributed to the world and how they can use that knowledge to benefit future generations.
Geography within Newbottle Primary Academy
Geography enables children to make sense of the world in which they live, through the study of places, the human and physical processes which shape these. Geography also enables the children to recognise their own impact, positive and/or negative, on the environment and community in which they live. Through geography, children are also able to show a commitment to justice and recognise their roles as gloabal citizens through challenging stereotypes and promoting positive attitudes towards the diverse comunities and peoples of the world.
History within Newbottle Primary Academy
History enables children to understand how the world in which they live has been shaped by the events of recent and ancent history, and the lagacy that these events have left behind. Through history the children are able to plan, research, analyse and evaluate events from the past. Paramount to this process is the use of sources of information which allow children to explore isses, events and problems from different perspectives. This leads to the children making conclusions supported by reasoned arguements and evidence and allows children to comuicate their learning in relevant ways, including showingempathy with people from the past.
Music within Newbottle Primary Academy
Music plays an important part in the curriculum, as it is our aim to provide a wide range of musical experiences so that every child can develop an enjoyment of listening to and creating music. Peripatetic teachers visit the school to teach a wide variety of instruments.
Art within Newbottle Primary Academy
Children will be encouraged to develop their own artistic skills through drawing, painting, printing, model making and sewing using a variety of materials and tools.
They will look at real objects, the local environment and the work of other artists to gain inspiration and ideas.
Children will also be given the opportunity to discuss and reflect on work produced and seen.
Design Technology within Newbottle Primary Academy
The teaching of design technology is a distinctive creative process that combines intellectual and practical skills through purposeful practical activities. This process involves a series of identifiable activities including but not necessarily beginning at the first stage.
- investigating a need or design opportunity
- developing design proposals and modifying them in the light of evaluation
- planning for implementation of the design solution
- making the proposed solution
- evaluating the effectiveness of the process they are engaged in and the product they have made.
Information and Communication Technology (Computing) within Newbottle Primary Academy
Information Technology comprises a variety of systems that handle electronically retrievable information.
Information Technology is taught both as a distinct subject, in its own right, and as a tool to be used as appropriate throughout the curriculum to support and enrich the children's learning.
Children are able to access the Internet. Sunderland City Council Children's Services monitor and prevent any access to unsuitable sites.
Each year group has access to laptops to enhance and empower the learning.
Physical Education within Newbottle Primary Academy
In this area children develop mobility, co-ordination and control through a variety of skills in Dance, Gymnastics, Games and Swimming. The school has a regular swimming session where tuition is given to pupils ranging from non-swimmers to more able pupils. All children are required to be able to swim 25 metres.
Individual confidence is built up, together with attitudes required to work as a team. This section of the curriculum is concerned also with the children's awareness and knowledge of their own bodies and how to promote their well-being.
Religious Education and Collective Worship within Newbottle Primary Academy
The religious education curriculum is taken from Sunderland City Councils 'Agreed Syllabus', which has been discussed, agreed and ratified by Sunderland City Council Children's Services, local teachers, and representatives of all major faiths and denominations. Although Christian based, it also ensures that our pupils gain respect, awareness and understanding of other world religions. There are varied arrangements for daily worship, including class and whole-school assemblies.
All parents/carers have a right to withdraw their child from the school's daily act of worship, and/or religious education. If you want to withdraw your child from these parts of school life please arrange a meeting with the headteacher.
Sex and Relationship Education within Newbottle Primary Academy
Sex education arises in a natural way from the study of life cycles and from questions children might ask. It is provided with due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life. The National Curriculum provides the following framework for the teaching of sex education:- Science-Life and Living Processes.
5-7 year olds should learn that 'living things reproduce their own kind'.
8-11 year olds should 'understand the process of reproduction in mammals'.
Visit by the School Nurse to Y6 children in the Summer Term prior to Secondary transfer.
The Governing Body has discussed and approved this policy.
Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education (PSCHE) within Newbottle Primary Academy
This arises during 'Circle Time' (class discussion) when children along with their class &/or support teacher discuss issues that may affect them in a variety of ways. It involves how children interact with one another, their family, friends and others. Depending on the age of the child issues could involve bullying, bereavement, separation, secondary school transfer and aspects of their everyday lives. Such sessions are conducted in a sensitive and positive way although children are encouraged to participate. In doing so they are able to express their feelings, concerns and aspirations with their peers.
Equal Opportunities within Newbottle Primary Academy
Newbottle Primary is a non-selective academy. The admissions policy for the academy will remain the same as the predecessor school and reflect the Local Authority policy.
Newbottle Academy believes that every child should reach their full potential. Learning should be suitably challenging for all so that it constantly moves children forward in their learning journey. Teachers are expected to have high expectations of all children and a belief that all children can make good progress.
Where children have Special Educational Needs, individual education plans are produced which specifically address their needs. These are often based on the advice received from outside agencies who have conducted specific assessments on the child’s area of difficulty. Often additional resources are deployed to ensure that children with special needs are supported in reaching their challenging targets; they are expected to progress at the same rate as other children.
Where children are gifted or talented, it is every teacher’s responsibility to ensure that their needs are met within each lesson. Often a child can be challenged through applying their understanding to different contexts. The curriculum does not put a cap on children’s progress; they will be taught at their level of attainment.
Enrichment programmes at Newbottle Primary Academy
Newbottle recognises that all children have their own unique characters and talents. Opportunities for individual development though a range of activities within and outside of school are provided. A wide range of sports opportunities are made available; musical skills are taught; regular ‘performances’ to parents; and many after school activities will add to the school experience. Educational visits both local and further afield are also a regular part of the Academies curriculum.